Hong Kong: One week itinerary

Hong Kong Insider
'Bibendum', 'Guide Michelin' gastronomic guide book, Hong Kong and Macau. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD
'Bibendum', 'Guide Michelin' gastronomic guide book, Hong Kong and Macau
After seven days here you won't want to go home. These options are all great full-day adventures.

Big time

The Big Buddha on Lantau Island looks great, as it should considering its only 15 years old. Surely, the location of the "authentic" Ngong Ping Village at its doorstep and nearby cable car are mere coincidences? Instead, take the ferry from Central to Mui Wo to get there. The vegetarian food at the nearby Po Lin Monastery (which has been around for years) is rather nice.

Visit China

Head for a day in Shenzhen, just north of the Chinese border. Twenty years ago, Shenzhen was a fishing village of 5000 people. Today, it is home to 10 million people and is one of China's most modern cities. Visitors usually head here for the cheap knock-offs to be found in the Lo Wu Shopping Centre.

Do buy your shoes, bags and clothes here, and get a great (and cheap) massage.

Don't buy fake DVDs (you could be arrested at the border), get cheap dental work or tattoos done (common sense), or get into cars with strangers to go and buy fake bags from a "factory" (more common sense). If you can get away from Lo Wu, then there is a whole city to explore. Dafen Art Village is definitely worth a look. Get your China visa in Australia before you go; it only takes two days.

Hit the tables

Hong Kong's neighbour, Macau, has transformed itself from a quiet Portuguese colony full of casinos to a world-class experience (full of more modern casinos) in just a few years. For a fun day out, take the CotaiJet Ferry from Hong Kong to Macau at 11am. Head to Hac Sa Beach in a taxi (10 minutes, HK$40) and start with some lunch at Fernando's Restaurant, which has the freshest Portuguese food and sangria in town. Then it's on to the Venetian to check out St Marks Square and the canals, and then over to MGM, Wynn and Grand Lisboa, with a few photo opportunities on the way at Macau's many UNESCO World Heritage sites. Wear comfy shoes; you'll be covering a lot of ground. Australians don't need a visa to enter.

Not just for the ladies

The Ladies Market in Mong Kok will cover all your shopping within its 1km-long stretch of pedestrian walkway. The surrounding streets are no less busy with names such as Sneaker Street (selling shoes) and every other consumer desirable you never knew you needed. Give yourself two hours at least; and yes, it has more than just items for the ladies.

Be an urban trekker

The Dragon's Back on the south-eastern corner of Hong Kong Island is an up-and-down hike that follows a mountain ridge all the way, hence its name. The track itself is well marked, but it can be a mission trying to find the start point. Take the MTR to Chai Wan at the end of the island line and then jump in a taxi to the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institute on Shek O Road (HK$20). Chances are you will see other hikers nearby, but otherwise just make your way up the hill following the signs. The two-hour hike has everything — postcard views, fresh air and cold beer and snacks, which you'll find at the finish line in Big Wave Bay. A taxi back to Central will cost HK$150 and take 20 minutes.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

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User comments
Some very useful tips, but I found it ironic that an article on spending time in Hong Kong advises you to leave Hong Kong twice, once for Shenzhen and once for Macau =)
You could do worse than simply spend 7 days catching the excellent public transport, and walking wherever you can. Catch the bus over the top to Stanley ()sitting at the front on the top deck) Walk through Sheung Wan, Central and on The Peak for a variety of sights and smells. Ocean Park is a blast of fun, and why not try Tai Tam for some easy hiking. Tai Tam village is also an eye opener. The best way to see Hong Kong is as a visitor - not a tourist.
I do recommend Macau as a day trip or even a couple of nights... Macau doesn't only have glitzy casinos, but it has culture and great food and shopping too! I also recommend Ocean Park to be included as it's fun for all ages... it has huge aquarium (like Sea World), pandas, red panda, seals and dolphins, and awesome rides for all ages. It will take you a whole day to explore but very worth it!!
the link to shenzen shopping trip says you can buy your china visa at lo wu with $HK this is not correct as of nov 2008,get RMB in HK before you get to lo wu.

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